Tuesday, June 2, 2009

YAMA of Bellevue

In the neighboring city of Bellevue, Yama will blow you away with its three-part roll known as The Trump Towers. $16 may sound like a lot for three pieces, but you get a lot for your money; the tempura is rich and uber-crispy, and the size of the bites enormous. After deep-frying an extra-large California roll which is used as a base, deep-fried oysters are placed on top of each piece, then dabbed with a creamy Bearnaise sauce and accented with black truffle caviar. This roll wins the prize for combining the most unusual components. The usage of fried kaki on a roll is unique in itself; to introduce Bearnaise sauce is splendid. You feel full after one piece, but trust me, that’s just the oil and batter….

Only in this state would it be considered fitting to name a sushi roll after Bruce Lee (he is buried here in Seattle, after all); perhaps that is why they decided to call one of their featured dishes “The Bruce Lee.” With hamachi, tempura prawn, snow crab, chilis, garlic chips and “Fist of Fury” sauce, this legendary roll will slay your taste buds with its spicy ponzu sauce and fried garlic effect.

Business lunches may take place here during the day, but at night, Yama comes alive as a nightclub with three bars and a large outdoor patio. And while Yama may have a strong emphasis on Japanese cuisine, it is really an Americanized Pan-Asian restaurant—it even features Pad Thai and Korean Hamachi Tartare.

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